Description: Flying a drone in all 5 boroughs of New York City is prohibited. But leave it up to viral video sensation Casey Neistat to find away around New York's rules and regulations. This video, with 1 millions views and counting, was posted by the YouTube star earlier this week. Throughout the nine-minute film, Neistat repeatedly states that all the flying is done legally. Casey: "We are following the rules. Still following the rules. Leave me alone FAA, please, please leave me alone. Or contact this guy." Pilot in Command Justin Oakes of DroneWorks says that although he has his Part 107, he’s flying as a hobbyist – just out on the water with his wife, fellow pilot and cinematographer Elaine Oakes, and his friend Casey, trying out Neistat’s new gear. According to the DroneWorks Duo, the Zenmuse X5S camera on the Inspire 2 drone will allow them to fly outside of the FAA parameters because of it’s zoom lens. They say they are also getting around the FAA’s and the city’s ordinances by taking off and landing on a boat while flying over the Hudson River. During the video, Oakes explains how they are legally flying around the Statue of Liberty, which is not only located on a National Park, but is on the Department of the Interior’s list of sites where drones cannot fly within 400 feet of its lateral boundaries. Casey: "So because it's a National Park we can't fly over the Statue of Liberty, but we have a really long lens, like what would look like a long zoom lens on the camera. So it looks like we're really close to the Statue of Liberty but really we're hundreds of feet away from it." The footage is stunning, which explains the massive amount of views the video has garnered. However, with its popularity has come loads of questions about the flight's legality. We spoke with Justin and Elaine for an AirVūz Profile piece a few months ago and know first hand just how well-versed they are in FAA rules and regulations, so it’s hard to believe they didn’t fly in compliance with current policy, especially after Neistat was investigated by the FAA last year. One thing is for sure, the conversation about flying legally here in the United States is still very murky.
AV Focus: Droneworks Studios
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